Best of 2012: Indie Songs

So what better way to start off a random New Year creation such as this than with a look back at the year that has passed? This will be the first in a series of Best of lists from 2012. Looking at Indie music in 2012, I was blown away by the diversity in sound. Indie music, that amorphous blob of a genre which can cover singer-songwriter, electronic, 70s influenced psychedelia tracks, and 80s riffs straight out of a John Hughes soundtrack, never ceases to bring on amazing ear candy.

So here they are: My favourite 25 indie songs from 2012. This is not a ranked list. I tried to rank these but it became too frustrating, so alphabetical seemed like a much easier solution.  Also, I am sure I have missed some obvious songs from over the course of the year. But these are the songs that dominated my Grooveshark account so they seemed to work for this list. (Also, I have made a playlist of these songs on grooveshark if you care to give it a listen:

1. Animal Collective – Today’s Supernatural (Much more pop-sounding than most of their previous work. Still a little unconventional and genre bending, but it has  a great sound to it, not to mention an incredibly trippy video)

2. Beach House – Wild (I love that this song starts out with that cheesy toy keyboard beat. Beach House’s Bloom was one of my most listened to albums this year.)

3. Cat Power – Ruin (People have called her out for going full pop, but I don’t mind.)

4. California Wives – Marianne (The beginning of this song is straight out of the 80s and is addictive as hell. For some reason I picture Molly Ringwald dancing to it, sporting a wicked side ponytail.)

5. Chairlift – I Belong in Your Arms (For a real good time, listen to the version of this song they did in Japanese. Anyway, this is a fun song with a great bouncy beat in the background.)

6. Chromatics – Kill for Love (Just a beautiful song)

7. Crystal Castles – Affection (Is it just me, or does that riff in the background sound exactly like Timberlake’s “My Love”. Anyway, this song has been on repeat for the last two months)

8. DIIV – How Long Have You Known (Once again, this has such a great 80s New Wave sound to it.)

9. Grimes – Oblivion (Awkward dancing has never looked so awesome. Also, this is my display of Canadian pride. A little experimental, but very catchy.)

10. Grizzly Bear – Yet Again (This has been Grizzly Bear’s year. One of the more commercial tracks on the list, but that does not make it any less awesome.)

11. Hey Ocean – Big Blue Wave (The Bronies got this one right. An amazingly addictive song. Once again, Canadian pride here for these BC Natives. Quite possibly Canada’s next big indie act – Watch out A.C. Newman.)

12. Hot Chip – Night and Day (Okay, this song is weird. Hot Chip is like Daft Punk meets Of Montreal, but the video stars General Zod so I don’t care!)

13. Icona Pop – I love it (feat. Charlie XCX) (If I did rank these songs, this would be near the top. If you can’t dance to this track, you are officially dead inside.)

14. Japandroids – The House that Heaven Built (This is as close to Bro-Rock as I get. But this song just screams awesome in every note.)

15. Melody’s Echo Chamber – I Follow You (This song will put you into a trance. Great slow beat, with a haunting voice.)

16. Metz – Wet Blanket (This song has punch. Angry and angst filled, this track fills the rock quotient of the list.)

17. Mother Mother – Let’s Fall in Love (Mother Mother started out making really weird music. It was good, but it was weird. They have gone full on pop now, and it sounds great!)

18. Passion Pit – Take a Walk (Commercial indie at its best. Not much separates them from other acts like Phoenix or Foster the People, but that is okay. Try running to this song on repeat and you will never want to stop. The beat driving this song is simply addictive.)

19. Pendentif – Jerricane (I love the pop music coming out of France these days. Maybe later I will do a little retrospective on it. At any rate, Pendentif is awesome. They are no M83, but Pendentif has an electric energy in their music and “Jerricane” is a great example.)

20. Regina Spektor – All the Rowboats (So I may have developed a bit of a crush on Regina Spektor ever since she appeared earlier on Stephen Colbert. “All the Rowboats” is definitely my favourite track off her amazing album “What we Saw from the Cheap Seats”.

21. Sleigh Bells – Comeback Kid (This song would also be near the top of the list. If ever there was a song that made you want to jump on a bed holding a rifle, this would be it.)

22. The Lumineers – Ho Hey (This year’s Mumford and Sons. It may be overplayed, but I don’t mind because the song is amazing. An easy addition to the list)

23. The Raveonettes – She Owns the Streets (Watch the video and fall in love with these guys. Also, prepare to hear more and more from them.

24. The Walkmen – Heaven (Their 2012 album “Heaven” may be one of the best albums of the year. If you have not listened to these guys yet, do yourself a favour and get on the train now!)

25. The XX – Angels (Britain’s indie darlings! Winners of the 2010 Mercury Music Prize, it would be hard to call their follow-up anything but perfect. This song is haunting. )

Okay, so I have one more that isn’t really on my list because I forgot about it. It would be, however, on the list of best videos of the year if I had one of those… maybe sometime soon. Check out crazy Jake Gyllenhaal in the video for “Time to Dance” by The Shoes (Warning! Some graphic violence):

6 responses to “Best of 2012: Indie Songs

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